To fully understand the marketplace for enterprise marketing automation solutions a bit of history is needed. In the earliest days of enterprise marketing automation Eloqua was king of the hill. With lead scoring capability in Salesforce it quickly became the defacto solution for global enterprise. Its high price however precluded much of the mid-market. This provided an opening for Marketo.
Marketo at half the price of Eloqua and with a simpler setup and workflow soon dominated the mid-tier and began encroaching on the enterprise space. But while the two leaders were fighting for market share a third player, Exact Target; a small business and personal email marketing provider acquired Pardot an elegant and well-defined enterprise solution, but with few customers and poor market penetration against the new leader Marketo, and Eloqua which has now been acquired by Oracle.
Now Salesforce has acquired Exact Target and with it gained access to Pardot. These two solutions have now been redesigned and fully integrated into what is now called Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The main point here for myself having implemented all four of these Eloqua, Marketo, Exact Target, and Pardot is that Pardot by far has been designed to take the best of what both Eloqua and Marketo have to offer.
Combine that with a far superior interface, integration path and ultra-simple workflow that in my experience has enabled the smoothest integration and configuration with roll out and adoption I have ever seen. Campaign design and workflow is elegantly simple making marketing management a pleasure, and not an arduous chore with a steep learning curve as is Eloqua, slightly less so with Marketo.
But the real winning factor with Pardot comes from the Integration with Salesforce. Both Eloqua and Marketo require extensive data schema mapping and configuration to achieve substantive integration, but Pardot handles all integration mapping automatically on installation, and generates every needed layout enhancement and reports required for effective enterprise marketing.
Pardot also enables full closed loop marketing where you can measure marketing against generated revenue from each campaign for real-time ROI.